Mom: Would you like to have your food now?
Kid: (no response)
Mom: Please reply if you would like to have food now or after 10 minutes.
Kid: (no response, continues doing whatever the kid was doing)
Mom: I am asking you something.
Kid: (no response, looks elsewhere)
Mom: Will you please tell me if you are hungry now?
Kid: (no response, big time ignore)
Mom: WOW, look at this chocolate!
Kid: (instant response) Chocolate, where? I want it!
I recently came across the term – threenager. Have you heard this term? Well, my daughter is three years old and I might be using this word a lot I guess 😉 When you Google it, you will find various definitions. So I am not going to bore you with all those versions. Basically, it’s like a teenager phase but the much younger version!
My kid is not very naughty, in fact, she falls under the category where moms tell me that you are lucky that she’s not naughty. She recently started going to daycare for two hours and going out to play, and has discovered the power of certain terms and actions. I am actually glad that she is finally being like a child as she has only been around us grown-ups for really long. See, due to the pandemic, she was mostly indoors for two years (such a terrible thing for all kids that age, right?).
Kids this age in 2022 are actually in a very different phase than those who reached this milestone in the pre-Covid era. These kids have mostly been at home without any exposure to playgroups, preschools, parks, birthday parties and more importantly spending lots of time with kids their age. I am writing from India, so maybe the situation is different in other places, but we went through huge number of Covid cases and never-ending lockdowns. So these kids are suddenly coming out of their home cocoon and I feel really bad that they missed the gradual transition i.e. exposure to the real outdoor world in a way we had.
I, a first-time-mom, am learning new things every single day. More importantly, I am learning how to deal with 3-year-old stuff-that-needs-dealing-with in a very nice-momly way. It is obvious that, just like them, even the parents are not prepared for the sudden change. My daughter has just discovered the power of NO and the power of IGNORING 🙂 As much as I know that we have been lucky in this area as she was indoors for a weirdly long period, and as much as I am glad that she’s now enjoying her childhood the way she should, I do get irritated if I do not get answer to the same question when asked in 10 different ways. Come on, I am a human too and new to this behaviour 😉 It’s really fun when I look back at these incidents and talk or write about it, but it is sometimes really very difficult in that moment.
So, just like kids are now getting used to the normal times, we too need to be quick in adapting. It is like a jumpstart after a two-year gap. A one-year-old child would ideally start gradually mingling with the outside world and discover new things, one day at a time, while you would gradually grow up to parenting and teaching the rights and wrongs accordingly. But due to the coronavirus related delays, these kids are getting all that exposure suddenly and we are often left overwhelmed. So, while I too don’t have it all together at all times, I would like to say to think about the following when you are getting exhausted / irritated with the sudden behavioral changes:
1. Remember, it’s a sudden transition for them and they are exploring what happens when they behave in a certain manner.
2. You might have told the kid that certain things / words / behaviour are not right for kids, but they just found that the other kids do that. So they might be confused.
3. They are all too excited / not very comfortable to come across so many new people / kids suddenly, give them the time.
4. Kids are kids. They will be naughty, throw tantrums at times, not respond how you expect them to, say NO more often than you can imagine, etc. It’s okay. Try not to lose it in their presence.
5. C’mon, they were deprived of the normal childhood complete with all fun, naughtiness, falls from slides, playgroups, parks, zoos, etc. for a really long time. You have actually been lucky to spend so much time with them, right?
Anyway, here’s hoping that covid disappears soon and we stay sane and our kids stay a little naughty and very happy forever!
Taking this moment to pray for the kids in Ukraine and their parents. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through, their daily struggles, fears and challenges. We all know that the news cannot show the real picture and we can’t even watch what they are living through. May there be peace and love and normal times soon.
This is my first post for the letter A as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2022. I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned.
Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below: